McAllen father questions school police tactics that left his son bruised

Red marks and bruising are what TMs left behind in the days after a 14-year-old is detained by police with the McAllen Independent School District. "Just by the results of seeing the little scars on my son's wrist, it was too much," Andy Zavala, the teen's father said. Andy says it's also the direct result of his son being falsely accused at school. They took him into the car and brought him to a whole different area," he said. "He did ask the officer en route where he was going and what's going on and they didn't tell him anything. They just stayed quiet. He was scared and didn't know what was going on." It turns out the 8th grader at Lincoln Middle School is linked to a toy gun incident where kids are seen shooting windows at Seguin Elementary School. But a teacher who witnessed the incident, improperly identifies Andy's son, who's nowhere near the school at time, as a suspect and as a result is later cleared. His father thinks the school should have notified him immediately in regards to the case, not after he's been cuffed and questioned. "Why weren't we called for the interview?" he asked. Like all law enforcement agencies in the State of Texas, the McAllen I.S.D. police department follows the Texas Family Code. That means parents are contacted if an arrest is made. But in this case there was no arrest, according to Mark May, district spokesperson. Mark says campus police acted in good faith. He adds how any red marks left on the teen's wrists happened as a result of the student moving his hands around while in handcuffs. Andy hopes this incident will lead to better treatment and improved lines of communication. "Because we're depending on you and trust the P.D. to make sure that everything is going right," he said. "The kids are there to learn." Action 4 News has learned that one student will face charges in connection to the toy gun incident last Thursday. A handful of others will be subject to school discipline. The investigation is ongoing.

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